Cats: Easing The Transition
Once home you may find that Kitty misses her brothers and sisters. She may wake up meowing during the night. If this occurs pick her up and comfort her by speaking soothingly and stroking her gently. If that fails to calm her, try the following tips:
- Put a ticking clock by Kitty’s bed to remind her of her mother’s heartbeat
- Put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel near Kitty. This will remind her of her brothers and sisters.
Overall, it’s best to introduce Kitty to your home gradually. Keep these points in mind:
- For the first day or two, keep Kitty confined to just one room with a litter box, food and water. Let her become comfortable in this room before introducing her to the rest of the house. This way you can ensure she is eating and drinking an adequate amount.
- Once Kitty is really comfortable in this room open the door and let her explore the rest of the house. At first she may hide. Try and coax her out to comfort her. Don’t try to push her too fast; she will gradually become less timid as time goes by.
Show your children how to pick up the new Kitty and play with her in the correct way. Teach children to be gentle with cats; they don’t like to be pulled by their ears or tail. Supervise your children’s interaction with the new Kitty—especially when they have friends visiting.
Before allowing Kitty to meet your other pets make sure she has had a veterinary check and is free of any disease. Older, settled-in pets may resist sharing their domain with your new addition to the family. It may take a couple of weeks for older pets to accept this new arrival as a member of the family. Here are a few suggestions to help you through this time:
- Spend extra time with your older pets for the first few days to help minimize tension.
- Confine older pets to their favourite part of the house while Kitty explores the rest.
- When Kitty seems at home allow her to see other pets through a glass door or window.
- Once you decide the pets can actually meet, stay in the room while they get acquainted. Let them sniff each other’s space and one another. Make sure each pet has an escape route in case one or the other wants to leave. Some hissing or growling is to be expected.
- If one of the animals shows hostility toward the other don’t punish it. Start the whole process over again and separate them for a day or two.
- Respect each pet’s territorial rights. If your older cat has claimed the lounge sofa as his favourite spot, allow him to keep that space as his own domain. Help your new Kitty to find a different spot that she can call her own.
- Establish separate but equal relationships with each pet to prevent jealousy.
- If you have a dog, keep him on a lead at first and watch him closely. Don’t let him bother or chase your new Kitty and don’t leave them in the same room if Kitty is uncomfortable or scared.
- Buy separate food and water bowls for Kitty.
- Give each cat a separate litter box; this will help them not to have accidents in inappropriate places.
- Above all else be patient and take things quietly.